42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
In Germany as wells as in other countries enterprises belonging to the so-called Information Economy tend to concentrate in a few regions. Even those branches that, based on theoretical concepts, are supposed to be 'footloose' due to global activities and technical possibilities, tend to cluster on a regional level. Examples are Munich, Hamburg, Cologne or Berlin. What are the main reasons and driving forces for regional clusters within the Information Ecnomy? Which ties do enterprises have within the region and beyond the region? To what extend do they need the region as a resource, i.e. for labour, suppliers, services or input of Know how, and to what extend do the enterprises provide input for regional economic development? What are the specific characteristics of their locational ties? Do they differ from other industries with regard to their needs and networks? The paper presents results of an empirical analysis within three regions (Hamburg, Dresden, TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe) based on semi-structured interviews with firms belonging to the Information Economy. It aims to discuss the relative importance of material and immaterial relations and the relevance of different theoretical concepts that try to explain the development and dynamics of regional clusters (such as transaction costs, agglomeration factors, path dependance, innovative milieu).